Monday, December 05, 2005


There is a definite problem with code words and possibly misleading misuse of words. Let's be clear of what we mean when we have discussions. Words and practices can all be misused and abused: look at regionalism, networking, collaboration, teamwork.

Let’s look at regionalism. When someone says "Regionalism" what do they mean?

Are they talking about a new regional government overseeing the operation of the region?

Are they talking about an old regional government overseeing the region?

Are they talking about a new non-profit organization doing the regional thing for all the participating local bodies?

Are they talking about local bodies openly collaborating for the betterment of the region?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above?

I certainly believe that maintaining the individuality of the local organizations and having them work openly together is the best way to improve Northeast Ohio. We don't need another organization doing the collaborating work that individual organization should be doing. We need organizations and individuals teaching and encouraging all in the civic space to build open networks of collaboration.

Rather than merging towns, cities, businesses, we should consider working together in an open collaborative way in which costs are reduced but individuality is maintained.

How can the City of Cleveland expect regionalism to work when it is still having problems with its own internal regional politics: the ward system? Perhaps the city should consider having its council elected at large so as to lessen the infighting that continues to distract from many of the real problems. Or at least learn and practice open collaboration.

1 comment:

John Ettorre said...

Dennis, how splendid to learn that you're blogging. I'll be sure to visit regularly. Enjoy your holidays.
John Ettorre